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Sarkodie, Donae'o, Idris Elba "Party and Bullshit" music video.

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Nadia Nakai, Zlatan x Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, Sarkodie x Idris Elba x Donae'o, and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.



Zlatan 'Gbeku' ft. Burna Boy

Nigerian artists Zlatan and Burna Boy link up for another standout collaboration "Gbeku," from the former's upcoming album Zanku: The Album. On "Gbeku," Burna Boy shines one the chorus, singing rhythmically in Yoruba while Zlatan delivers animated verses in his raspy vocals throughout. They prove once again that they make for a stellar musical duo.

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Nadia Nakai 'Amai'

For her debut album, titled Nadia Naked, Nadia Nakai gives her listener more than just bravado in the form of chest-punching raps. In some songs, the South African/Zimbabwean rapper tells the story of the person behind the feisty and intimidating character that is Nadia Nakai as we all know her. One such song is "Amai." In the song, the rapper lets the listener in on how her mother has always been there for her, rapping: "The machine I cannot live without/ She pick me up when I break down/ Now I'm up, I bow down." In the song's music video, Nadia can be seen getting draped in mold in the process of making a bust of the rapper.

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Sarkodie, Donae'O & Idris Elba 'Party & Bulls#!t'

Award-winning Ghanian rapper Sarkodie connects with none other than Idris Elba and singer and producer Donae'o for a memorable music video for their new collaboration "Party & Bullshit." As the title implies, the song is all about letting loose, celebrating life and having a good time. The track opens with Sarkodie delivering a rapid-fire verse. His impressive flow shines through as he raps completely in Twi. Elba joins in with an energetic second verse that humorously references fufu, while Donae'o provides the song's catchy, anthemic chorus.

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Davido 'Risky' ft. Popcaan

Davido has just released his brand new single, "Risky," a taste from his upcoming album A Good Time, which is set to drop on November 22, 2019. The new single sees the Nigerian heavyweight connecting with Jamaican star Popcaan as they both go in over afrofusion-meets-dancehall beat work. It was produced by DMW's in-house beatmaker Speroach Beatz. The track notably features Davido doing a cheeky flip of his own freestyle he did on Shade 45 earlier this year, which was made fun of across social media. "What you all laughed at !! You will dance to !! " Davido posted on Twitter.

New Music: Listen to Davido's New Album 'A Good Time'

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Amanda Black 'Power'

Three years since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Amazulu, Amanda Black returns with her second full-length project. The 18-track album is titled Power, and kicks off with a fitting spoken word piece by Kush Mahleka. The music on Power is big, as it provides both electronic sounds and actual instruments. It will sound even bigger when interpreted by a band live. Power sounds both mature and youthful, and Amanda's voice still fills up your headphones, and her songwriting is sharper and even more personal than on Amazulu.

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Cina Soul 'Killi Mi'

23-year-old Ghanaian singer Cina Soul has delivered a powerful track that addresses gender based violence and the various abuses women face. The track, called "Killi Mi," is generating a lot of responses and love on Twitter, with many in awe of the emotion they feel from the 2019 Ghanaian female vocalist of the year nominee.

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Yemi Alade 'Vibe'

Yemi Alade, the Nigerian video queen, returns with a new visual for "Vibe." "It is the fifth track on her latest album, Woman of Steel, and, like the rest of the album, it presents a more liberated, more confident, no-holds-barred Alade. The album, she's said, "is all about drawing the inner strength that you have in you and being the superhero that you've always needed." In "Vibe" we hear the artist speaking on sexual liberation and coming to terms with the" vibe" of love she wants.

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Mafikizolo 'Ngeke Balunge'

Beloved music duo Mafikizolo is back with another Afro-soul anthem that will tug at your heartstrings. Their new single "Ngeke Balunge" is a beautiful love song that sees them returning to the sound that first catapulted them to mainstream success in the early 2000s. Singing "Ngeke balunge, Ngeke bas'qede" the duo describe how those around them will never succeed in coming between their love for one another because they will always find their way back to each other—just as with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

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Femi Kuti x Stromae x Coldplay 'Arabesque'

In a sentence we never thought we'd type, both Femi Kuti and Stromae appear on a new song from Coldplay. Both the Nigerian legend and Belgian pop star are featured on "Arabesque," a newly released Coldplay track from their upcoming "more experimental" album Everyday Life (due November 22 via Parlophone/Atlantic). "Arabesque" is an expansive composition built on what sounds like North African-inspired guitars and rhythms, which call to mind the likes of Bombino and Tinariwen. The song sees Stromae delivering a verse in French.

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Zlatan 'Yeye Boyfriend'

Nigerian artist Zlatan drops a new single ahead of the release of his upcoming debut album Zanku: The Album. On "Yeye Boyfriend" the popular "Zanku (Leg Work)" singer reasons for breaking up with time-wasting boyfriends (yeye is a humorous Yoruba term often used to describe someone as "useless" or "senseless"). The song is a change of pace for the artist, as it features him singing lightheartedly rather than delivering the grittier rap sound he's known for. The comedic video sees the artist playing the role of a therapist to several failing couples. He calls his practice "Yeye Family Therapy." The video was shot by Visionary Pictures.

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Larry Gaaga & Davido 'Work (Living in Bondage)'

Nigerian music exec turned radio superstar Larry Gaaga has once again teamed up with fellow Naija hotshot Davido for his latest single, "Work (Living in Bondage)." The track features Davido's vocals crooning a sensual love song. His voice sits atop an uplifting but slow beat from Gaaga that has crisp percussion hits keeping the tempo moving.

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Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


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Burna Boy. Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage (via Getty Images).

The 20 Best Nigerian Songs of 2019

Featuring Burna Boy, Rema, Tiwa Savage, Zlatan, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Teni, Davido, Lady Donli and many more.

2019 was another huge year for Nigerian music.

Zlatan's presence was ubiquitous and powered by the zeal for zanku, a dance which is now de rigueur. Rema led the charge for a group of young breakthrough artists that include Fireboy DML and Joeboy. They all represent an exciting crop of talents that point the way forward for Nigerian pop.

Burna Boy's new dominance, built around his excellent African Giant album, delivered on his rare talents, while the long wait for Davido's sophomore album, A Good Time, paid off in satisfying fashion. Simi's Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. 1 announced her departure from her longterm label. Tiwa Savage also made a highly-discussed move from Mavin Records to Universal Music Group. Meanwhile, Yemi Alade exuded female strength with her latest record, Woman of Steel.

Not to be left out, Wizkid sated demands for his fourth album with a new collaborative EP following a year of stellar features that included his presence on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift, an album which also boasts Tekno, Mr Eazi and Tiwa Savage. Mr Eazi also notably launched his emPawa initiative to help fund Africa's promising up-and-coming artists.

Asa returned in a formidable form with Lucid, while buzzing artists like Tay Iwar, Santi, and Lady Donli all shared notable releases. Lastly, the beef between Vector and M.I climaxed and sparked a resurgence of Nigerian rap releases from Phyno to Ycee, PsychoYP and more.

Read on for the best Nigerian songs of 2019. Listed in no particular order. —Sabo Kpade

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Walshy Fire Photo: RAHIM FORTUNE

Interview: Walshy Fire On Reconnecting Africa and the Caribbean through The Sound Of Rum

A conversation with the Jamaican born DJ/Producer and Bacardi Sound Of Rum curator who's worked with Mr Eazi, Vanessa Mdee, Ice Prince and Runtown.

Sponsored content from Bacardi

"If we aren't talking about growth, positivity and good energy in the opportunities that we have, then we're wasting our opportunities" Walshy Fire says. "It's about helping move the culture forward - which is what I want to do". The artist, born Leighton Paul Walsh, recently released his Afrobeats and dancehall-fusing debut solo album, ABENG, after achieving global success as one third of supergroup Major Lazer and producing standout hits such as Koffee's "Toast".

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Ayanda Jiya. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

South African Women Dropped the Best Debuts of 2019

We highlight 10 noteworthy albums & EPs from a new generation of vocal talent in South Africa, featuring Elaine, Ayanda Jiya, Ami Faku and more.

The South African music scene has seen an uptick in youthful, vocally gifted artists over the years. Much of this is owed to the recent global resurgence of R&B, as well as the increased significance of streaming sites, especially SoundCloud.

From internet-savvy artists creating jazz, alternative soul and house-infused spoken word to radio friendly iterations of pop and Afro-soul, 2019 has been the year of impactful debut performances.

This year ushered in the voices of a new generation of South African female artists announcing themselves to the world.

Here's a lowdown of 10 great releases from talented female vocalists, songwriters and composers marking this new era.

Read ahead below. This list is in no particular order.

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Album Cover Art.

Listen to Stormzy's New Album 'Heavy is the Head'

The British-Ghanaian grime star has dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album featuring YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

British-Ghanaian rapper Stormzy has finally dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album Heavy is the Head. The album comes two years after he released his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer.

The 16-track project features the likes of American singer-songwriter YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

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